Art-Her From-Her
Big packet of knowledge, likes to guide people around

It is said that people visit Nepal for the first time for the mountains and come back for the people. Mountains are definitely the star of this diverse little country. Nepalese take a lot of pride in the mountains of the Himalayas. While the Egyptians have their pyramids, the Chinese have their great wall, Nepalese have the Himalayas.

Mr. Been "That’s a wrong comparison Tour guy. You are comparing something natural with something manmade. I could have done a lot better!."

I am going to ignore you Mr. Been. Anyways, amongst many other reasons Nepal is famous for, the high scaling mountains definitely steal the limelight. And we’ve got to thank the Indian and the Eurasian plates for bumping into each other some 40-50 million years ago. They continued pushing against each other and the Himalayas was born, also the highest and the largest plateau, The Tibetan Plateau was born. These plates are also the very reason why Nepal is in a high risk seismic zone. The total length of the Himalaya range is 2400 km and one third of the range lies in Nepal. In that one third region of the Himalayas is where some of the highest mountains of the world are. Infact 8 of the 10 highest peaks of the world are situated in Nepal. Here is the list of all the high scaling mountains of Nepal . Amongst the 8 highest peaks situated in Nepal the most famous one has definitely got to be Mount Everest, the big daddy of them all.

1. Mount Everest

Mount Everest

Mt. Everest only knew she was the tallest of them all in the year 1852 when The Survey of India measured the height at a staggering 8848 m. She went by the name Peak XV then. But the 8848 m height is now long gone as a more accurate height has been measured. This happened in the year 1999 when American Survey managed to anchor in the summit rock a receptor for satellite signals from GPS. Since then the height has been corrected to 8850 m. But it is still not the highest in the solar system. That crown goes to Olympus Mons of Mars that measures well above 22000 m.

Jane Knowall "Having said that Sagarmatha as it is known in Nepali is still growing at a rate of 4mm per year. Remember the plates? They are still pushing against each other! So maybe after some 100 million years or so Mt Everest can be the highest in the entire solar system. But it's not that straightforward. ;)"

In Nepal, mountains less than 7000 m are not even worthy of names. There are numerous high scaling mountains in Nepal that easily beat so called “high” mountains of other countries and still don’t have names! Not bragging, just mentioning ;-)  

Jane Knowall "Did you know? The highest peaks of each continent or more popularly and collectively known as Seven Summits has not a single mountain that crosses 7000 m mark except for the giant Everest. When it comes to maintaining high standards Everest is certainly the boss. At 8850 m it is very hard to argue against it. Aconcagua (6961 m)  is the second highest mountain of all the seven summits. That’s a difference of 1889 metres!"

Mount Everest is also where most records have been set besides itself being the highest mountain in the world. From highest altitude helicopter landing to marriage at the top of Everest, this giant has seen it all. Everest has also set the record for the highest altitude brawl! Take a look at these records set on Mount Everest.

Mr. Been "Basically anything that happens in Everest is a record in itself. Go play a gameboy at the top of Everest and voila! You have created a record. I myself am planning to do the moonwalk on the summit someday and get my name in the record books."

You might think climbing mountains in Nepal is an easy job because of the many number of people who have climbed Mt. Everest alone. Let me present you with the numbers that speak for itself. Ever since the first attempt at conquering Everest in 1921 the total number of deaths is recorded to be 248 as of the December, 2013. The average deaths in Everest is 4.4 each year since 1921. So my advice is don't take Everest for granted.

What does this mean for you?

  1. Climbing mountains in Nepal is not easy at all. Top notch physical conditioning, mental strength and years of practise is needed to challenge the mountains of Nepal. Even after all the commercialization it still is dangerous nonetheless.  
  2. The risk of earthquake is omnipresent with a major one happening every 100 year. Be wary about it. The latest earthquake that triggered an avalanche in 25 April, 2015 killed atleast 22 people.

Best place to see Mount Everest

  1. Everest base camp trek is the best trek to view the Mount Everest but not the base camp itself. The only thing you will be seeing from the base camp is the Khumbu ice fall. Kala Patthar is a sweet spot for viewing the iconic view of Mount Everest. This is the spot from where most photographers choose to shoot and this is the very view that you will be seeing in most of the post cards.
  2. There’s a talk in the town that Everest is visible from Nagarkot and Daman. This is not outright false. But Everest will just be a mere dot. And the weather needs to be perfect for you to be able to see that dot. What I mean to say is that these places are useless if your sole purpose is seeing Mt. Everest. Hotel owners might even use this as a value proposition to market their hotels in Nagarkot. You will definitely get panoramic mountain views but Everest? Good luck with that.
  3. Mountain flights are another way to get up close with this giant and these flights claim Mount Everest will be just 20 meters away from the airplane window. Buddha air and Yeti air are the two best-known airline companies in Nepal that do the Everest mountain flight. 

 

2. Mount Dhaulagiri

Dhaulagiri Mountain

Backing up Mount Everest to glorify Nepal in the world map are some other stunning mountains. Dhaulagiri for example is another eight thousander peak and the seventh highest peak of the world at 8167 m. You will get a beautiful view of Dhaulagiri from Mustang trek and Poonhill trek is another great spot to see this mountain in it’s entire glory. But suppose you are a hardcore adventurer and Chuck Norris is your idol, then Poonhill trek will simply not do. If you want an awesome and rather hard trek that will get you awesome views of Dhaulagiri then might I suggest the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek. This trek will show you the very less travelled Hidden valley, French pass and will require relative good trekking skills/ experience. But it will be all worth it!  

Dhaulagiri has some pretty interesting stories attached to it as well. Dhaulagiri showed how crazy the Swiss people were and in particular a pilot named Emil Wick. Emil Wick came to Nepal in 1960 to support the Swiss expedition team attempting to conquer Dhaulagiri for the very first time. He would land his Pilatus porter nicknamed “Yeti” just above the Dhaulagiri icefall to supply expedition supplies to the Swiss team. The record still stands as the highest altitude fixed winged aircraft landing in the world. On his way back he would bring chunks of ice to chill his beer. 1960 Pokhara, where he was stationed, did not have electricity back then. So his solution was ice from the Dhaulagiri itself. His crazy antics are hard to match. 
Another famous name in the mountaineering fraternity, Maurice Herzog along with his team also came to Nepal in 1950 to climb Dhaulagiri. After a couple of reconnaissance trips they concluded Dhaulagiri would be too hard to handle and so they set their eyes on Annapurna I instead. With the help of an incorrect map, snowstorms and lots of gut they conquered Annapurna I, the first eight thousander to be successfully climbed.

What does this mean for you?

  1. Due to the high difficulty level expeditions in Dhaulagiri are low and only experienced climbers dare to step foot on the mighty Dhaulagiri.
  2. Because of the difficulty level, Dhaulagiri was the second last eight-thousander peak to be conquered (in 13 May, 1960). The last was Shishapangma (8027 m) in China.

Best place to see Mount Dhaulagiri

  1. Mustang trek is the best way to view this mountain. To be more specific Larjung and the surrounding villages of Khanti, Kobang and Naurikot. There you will get the magnificient view of Dhaulagiri and the icefall.
  2. Poonhill trek is another way to view this mound of handsomeness. Though the mountain will not be as close as from Larjung. You will be getting a good panoramic view of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range from Poonhill.
  3. Dhaulagiri Circuit trek is recommended for those who require a bit more to get satisfied. This trek will include a pass of 5360m. You will be touching the Dhaulagiri, not just seeing.   

3. Annapurna I

Annapurna

Talking about Annapurna I, it is another equally enticing mountain. It is the hero of the Annapurna range. The south face of this 10th highest mountain in the world is perhaps the most difficult climb in any mountain. But Ueli Steck, a Swiss alpinist did the south face all by himself in 28 hours in the year 2013. Yes, the same guy who was hurled stones at by the Sherpas at Everest for not following mountaineering etiquettes.
Dodo Kopold once said, “People say that Annapurna is dangerous from the north, dangerous and difficult from the northwest and steep, dangerous and difficult from the south”. Certainly nobody seems to have mentioned that to Ueli Steck. Nonetheless, Annapurna is one of the deadliest mountain in the entire world. It has a fatality rate of over 35% i.e 1 climber out of every 3 dies trying. It is the same mountain that consumed the life of Anatoli Boukreev, hero of the 1996 Everest disaster.

Culture guy "Annapurna in Nepali literally means “Full of food”. The glaciers of Annapurna feed the rivers down below which in turn fuels the lower regions with lush vegetation and wildlife. A quite fitting name for this gracious mountain."

Nepal takes a lot of pride and inspiration from the mountains. From naming banquet halls in 5 star hotels, featuring mountains in patriotic songs to wearing ‘Dhaka topi’ proudly which people say, figuratively represents the mountains of Nepal. Many people remind Nepal is a small country but Nepalese like to argue otherwise, is Nepal really small with the help of these mountains in terms surface area? Read our About Nepal section to find out more.

Best place to view  Annapurna I

  1. The best way is definitely the Annapurna Base camp trek. You will be seeing the south face of Annapurna I in all its glory with other colloseum of mountains.
  2. Mustang trek is another alternative but the mountain view is not as impressive as from ABC. The area around Kalopani is the best spot to view the north and west face of the mountain. From anywhere else the mountain is not visible. Also, you will not be seeing Annapurna I if you do the Annapurna circuit. The only place from where the mountain will be visible is Kalopani itself.    

Only in Nepal

  1. The summit of Everest along with Annapurna and Dhaulagiri are made of Limestones, that is supposed to form the bottom of oceans. This shows that Himalayas were once at the bottom of the ocean floor and were pushed by tectonic plates making it the highest mountain range in the entire world.
  2. Helicopter landing at the summit of Mount Everest. For some more records visit wiki page.
  3. Highest altitude fixed winged aircraft landing on Dhaulagiri.
  4. A trekking app with a mountain finder that tells you which mountains are in front of you.